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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Flag Finale scene from "Tennessee Tapestry"
The "Flag Finale" from "Tennessee Tapestry" - Presentation of U.S., Tennessee and Johnson County Flags

Tennessee Tapestry

Johnson County made news across the state with its vital and creative role in the Tennessee bicentennial celebration. The county commissioners asked each individual community in Johnson County to celebrate the Tennessee bicentennial by 1) devising a community-centered project; and 2) by completing one major improvement that would enhance the life of the community.

One such project was "Tennessee Tapestry," a musical drama depicting the history of Johnson County from the time of Daniel Boone to the present. The play, which was performed several times during 1996, is now being revived for performance annually following the original 1996 performance at the Tennessee bicentennial celebration. The first act, dealing with the history of Tennessee as a whole, has been dropped in favor of the second act, which is being revised with more dialog, more music, and more local history focusing solely on Johnson County. The East Tennessee State University Drama Department is assisting local and county groups in the production. As a further cultural enrichment, a "drama swap" with other eastern counties is planned for the future.

The associated major improvement was beginning a fund, with a $10,000 downpayment, to undertake the restoration of the old Johnson County High School auditorium; a Johnson County Auditorium Renovation Committee made up of local leaders is now in place, and plans for the restoration are underway.

Project documentation comprises a report on "Tennessee Tapestry" and the Johnson County High School Auditorium Renovation, a typescript of Act II of the play "Tennessee Tapestry" and a program from a 1996 performance, fifteen 8 x 10 photographs, information on Johnson County's Flag commemorating Tennessee's Bicentennial, a 1996 Johnson County calendar, and sheet music for the song "First Sunrise in Tennessee."

Originally submitted by: William L. Jenkins, Representative, (1st District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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